The Science of Women

Vaginal Discharge

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The amount of vaginal discharge is different for each woman. It depends on your age, the time of your menstrual cycle and whether you are pregnant or not. Excessive vaginal discharge that is accompanied with severe itch and discomfort may be a sign of Bacteria Vaginosis or Candidiasis.


Is increased Vaginal Discharge a sign of infection?

Not all increase in vaginal discharge signify an infection. Vaginal discharge can increase in pregnancy and around ovulation. It can also increase if there are Nabothian Cysts on the cervix or if the cervix is larger with Ectropion. The amount of vaginal discharge also changes before and after the menstruation.


When is Vaginal discharge a sign of infection?

There may be an infection if the vaginal discharge
❖ causes severe itch and burning sensation
❖ is associated with pain, vesicles or ulcers of the vaginal and vulva
❖ has a very bad odor
❖ is yellowish-green or looks foamy like cottage cheese


What are the common infections and risks?

The common infections are
❖ Candidiasis
❖ Bacterial Vaginosis
❖ Trichomoniasis
These are not sexually transmitted disease and most women will experience one such infection in her lifetime.

Candidiasis is usually benign except when it keeps coming back.
Bacterial Vaginosis can cause pelvic infection after surgery.
In pregnancy, Bacterial Vaginosis and Trichomoniasis can cause late miscarriage and premature deliveries.


What are the treatments?

Candidiasis can be treated with anti-fungal medication. Sometimes long term treatment of 6 weeks or more may be required for recurrent cases. There is no need to treat your partner unless he has symptoms.

Bacterial Vaginosis and Trichomoniasis are effectively treatment with Metronidazole. Treating your partner can reduce your treatment failure rates.